Trend spotting 2016 – 6 crucial trends digital marketers need to know about

Every nascent industry consolidates itself. The same applies to digital marketing. Over the years, digital marketing has changed. Along with it, it has changed the way people interact with brands, their buying behavior and so on. Aggressive selling, like in the 70s and 80s does not work today. Understanding customer needs and providing solutions is the in thing. This is what the customer wants and marketers have no choice but to adhere to it.

Trends form and perish in any industry. Digital marketing trends have seen it all over the past couple of decades. Today, what we think is normal, was a trend just a couple of years back. The ones who ace these trends are the ones who have the forethought as to how well these trends will become everyday occurrences.

Trends are important. They form the foundation for where the industry will go. There is a difference between a trend and a fad. A trend is something that takes the old and gives it a twist, to make things even more easier for the user, a fad on the other hand is something that is fancy, doesn’t really have a solid reason for its existence and is most times-impractical. So, a trend can become a best practice if it really is beneficial to the end user. Things such as email validation and social media selling were trends 4-5 years back, now they are common and integral parts of marketing campaigns!

Trends to look forward to- and use

We have uncovered 6 real trends that are massively affecting and shaping the digital marketing landscape. These trends are hot, valid and do make the marketers as well as the customer’s life easier, simpler and enriches it too. These take common industry factors and add features to it. It may be enhancing your budgets in certain positions and decreasing them over others, doing something more or lesser and so on.

Data management

This is not really a new thing. The reason this is one of the biggest trends for the past few years is because data can impact your business tremendously. IBM says that over 47 percent of global CMOs are able to manage their data efficient. When we say efficiently, it means that they are able to derive information from it, which in turn can be used while planning and executing marketing campaigns.

Your campaigns themselves have a ton of data in them, results, clicks, views and so on. This data is absolutely crucial while moving ahead. Marketers need to understand that this data can help them make their campaigns hyper targeted. There is no quick fix remedy for bad numbers- the answer lies within the data. Hire data analysts who can chew up the data and give you actionable numbers you can work with.

Customer experience matters

customer-experience-matters

Price led marketing is a thing of the past. The future demands good customer service, customer retention and brand loyalty. 58 percent of B2B survey respondents plan to increase their efforts in selling products and services based on value to specific target audiences this year. This needs good data analysis, so we eventually circle back to point number one. Selling products and service today is always about value proposition. The prime factor as to why your product is better than the competition becomes the crux of all your marketing paraphernalia. Whatever the customer demands, you give-period.

Content and social play crucial roles here. Social listening is a superpower. Your marketing team should be listening closely to what your customer and prospect is talking about, what they are searching and what they are buying too. Answering their queries as and when you can gives you the look of a superhero that’s come to their rescue. People are asking questions online, be prepared to answer them.

An Omni channel experience

A multi channel experience, that allows your prospect to be able to make the purchase from you, be it store, mobile, desktop or telephone. Most times, it is impossible to purchase certain products and services via certain channels. The process does not exist. Marketers are looking to change that. You really don’t need to go to a showroom today to purchase a car, it can be done online. Similarly; a large number of products that we available only in store can now be easily purchased online and vice versa too in fact.

If you are targeting your prospects online, why don’t you make it easy for them to purchase anywhere and anyway they want to? It’s a simple question really but the thought process is picking up today. Easy accessibility to products is as important as spending millions on marketing it. If a prospect finds it hard to buy your product, what the whole point of the marketing exercise anyway?

Social ads

According to Interpublic Group’s Magna Global, in 2015 digital ad spend will have grown 17.2% (to $160 billion), and 13.5% in 2016, surpassing TV as the biggest advertising platform in 2017. Need we say more?

Social media ads are the newest hot thing in town. They are highly targeted, specific and give you a lot higher returns than generic ads on TV or Google.  Choosing the right platform is the first step. You are automatically creating a hyper targeted group when you increase your visibility on a certain social media platform. The followers you have here are ready to listen to you, they are interested. Posting ads need not be random and generic. You can test ads organically. Promote the one that gains traction-organically.

Video marketing is one the rise

video-marketing-is-one-the-rise

YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine. A Regalix study showed 84 percent of B2B marketers are planning to extend their video marketing budgets in the next year. This is a massive number and it shows the power of video. We are not just talking about simple video format; we are talking GIFs, Snapchat, visual marketing and the like.

Product demos, interviews and other such tools can be highly effective if they are made with zeal and using good data analysis. Distributing this content is also important. You need to run your campaigns around video distribution. Get the word out, test and see what brings you results and go all out.

Once size does not fit all

Your content has and will be the centre piece of your marketing efforts. Today content needs to be highly targeted, brilliantly written and high on emotions. Your content should be able to fit all types of devices, easy to read and more importantly, easy to take action on. This is what defines great content from good content. The ultimate goal is what matters when creating content. It needs to drive users to the end result. The result may be a visit, a sign up, but whatever it is, it should be integral to your marketing content.

Podcasts, slideshows, interviews, email campaigns, they are all in high demand. Your email marketing prowess depends on how well you are able to connect with your audience. Email is a highly selective medium today. An inbox is worth a lot and getting a foothold is no easy task. Marketers even today do not understand the value it has. Being the highest ROI generator doesn’t seem to convince marketers that it is time to make email marketing a serious aspect of the full program.

Digital marketing trends change all the time. The essence of the matter is that these trends leave a lasting impression on the market. We have to assimilate them into our marketing thought process. This is because prospects and customers are the ones forming these trends.

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